Since roughly March, universities worldwide have shut down and have changed learning and class styles. Many universities in America are currently running on a hybrid learning class style where the students may not physically be in class every day of the week. I personally have two hybrid classes, and I am only physically in class one or two times a week depending on what week it is. At the start of the pandemic, student life was pretty much flipped upside down. Almost every university gave the students less than a week’s notice that they were being required to move back home for the foreseeable future. However, my experience was different from the rest.
I spent my first two years of college attending a different university in a different state. I was happy at first, but then something changed and the school I once thought was my home was no longer my home. As a result, during the summer of 2019, I made the decision to take a much-needed gap year and spend some time at home. I was able to find myself again and really figure out where I wanted to go next in life. My career vision never changed, but where I wanted to be physically did. I needed to get out of my small town and explore more of the United States. Being a military child, I move around a lot, but I have never really gotten to choose where I was moving to next. My gap year was able to change that. I applied to colleges and universities nationwide and was finally accepted to University of Louisville. I had been eyeing UofL since high school, so I could not have been happier receiving an email from UofL Admissions stating there was an update on my application.
My acceptance did not happen until July, so we were already well into the pandemic. Once the pandemic hit, there were travel bans put into place worldwide to potentially help minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus. All I knew was that I was flying to Louisville, Kentucky in early August with almost nothing but the clothes on my back. Not being able to bring much added on to the stress and anxiety of flying to a whole new place to live for the next school year. However, I was equally excited to be able to start this new journey in my life. I knew I would want to make new friends and get involved early on, so I immediately set out on that task upon my acceptance. I was a writer for my last university’s Her Campus chapter, so I knew right away that Her Campus was something I wanted to do here even if it meant having to start a chapter. I was so happy to be able to apply to the Louisville chapter over the summer and have an acceptance very soon after. I automatically felt like I was home, and I had not even stepped on campus yet. I was not even packed! Knowing I had already been accepted in made the transition to a new university after a gap year while still being in a pandemic just that much easier. I even felt excited to get involved with two other organizations I had connected with soon after arriving on campus.
It has been almost seven weeks since I have arrived on campus, and I know I made the right decision. While this may be the first time that I am taking any college course solely online, I do not feel like I am still just sitting on my couch at home. Yes, I am confined solely to my dorm this semester because of the pandemic, but I know I can get out, and I have done so much walking around campus. I love looking at the statues and architecture. So many buildings looked the same on my last campus, so I love being able to see the variety here. Yes, there are many buildings that look similar, but they are so different, and I could not be happier. I’ve found my home for the next two years, and I am more satisfied than I ever thought I could be with my decision.